You helped make 2017 our most impactful year yet! To celebrate, we curated seven of our favorite highlights below.
This year we grew more focused on innovative solutions to create transformative outcomes at scale. At the same time, our work extended farther than ever.
Thank you for partnering with us. Together we are advancing freedom and dignity.
Identifying & Helping Victims Find Freedom
An estimated 79,000 minors and youth in Texas are victims of sex trafficking, but data suggests that fewer than 2% are officially identified and helped.
Allies set out to change that reality. We built an innovative online screening tool and data platform to help frontline professionals more rapidly and effectively identify victims of sex trafficking.
This year we completed an 18 month pilot and doubled the number of partners trained to use the tool. In 2018, our goal is to continue transforming victim identification efforts by dramatically scaling up distribution of the tool.
Publishing Groundbreaking Research
In January, Allies and the University of Texas released the study "Human Trafficking by the Numbers: The Initial Benchmark of Prevalence & Economic Impact For Texas".
The first-of-its-kind study brought to light the true extent of the human trafficking in Texas and has already influenced policy, opened up new funding for solutions and catalyzed action amongst stakeholders at all levels.
Preventing Trafficking Through Education & Advocacy
Allies had the honor to travel to Dallas alongside Wendy Davis and her team at Deeds Not Words to help empower youth leaders with a policy advocacy training.
The youth went on to advocate for bill SB2039 - co-sponsored by Sen. Zaffirini and Rep Senfronia Thompson and signed into law by Governor Abbott in June - to create a prevention training program for all public school children in Texas.
Raising Awareness At Philanthropitch
Think Shark Tank for philanthropy and you'll have a good idea of Philanthropitch Austin. Allies was selected to present our work alongside 6 other innovative nonprofits at the LBJ Auditorium in front of 750 people.
It was an honor to raise awareness about the issue and advocate for exploited youth. Allies won big, receiving $47,250 in awards and entrance into the Mission Accelerator Program.
Implementing Best Practices in Program Design
Allies worked closely with the SAFE Alliance this year to create the SAFE CARES program providing specialized services for survivors of sex trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation.
We were thrilled when SAFE was awarded a two-year, $1.5 million grant from the Office of the Governor to fund the program.
As a technical advisor on the grant, our role includes helping with design and implementation, training for all staff and supporting SAFE's efforts identifying victims through our innovative screening tool.
Thought Leadership at the Freedom Forum
Allies was invited to the 5th annual Freedom From Slavery Forum at Stanford University with other leaders from national and international organizations like the International Labor Organization, Walk Free Foundation, International Justice Mission, Thorn and Polaris.
The Forum focused on critical issues for global efforts to end slavery, and attendees discussed topics such as:
- Understanding of prevalence and determinants of slavery;
- Addressing gaps in knowledge with respect to applications of technology and anti-slavery interventions;
- Encouraging and advancing survivor leadership;
- Crafting a strategy for building a more robust civil society coalition against slavery in an effort to influence UN Sustainability Development Goal (SDG) 8.7.
Designing a Sustainable Impact Model That Scales
Allies was 1 of 4 innovative nonprofits selected to participate in the Mission Accelerator, a program run by Mission Capital and Austin's Social Venture Partner Network.
Our staff and board spent 5 months working with our Accelerator Advisor Team to develop a national plan for sustainably scaling up adoption of our online victim identification tool.
After completing the Accelerator, Allies was honored as the 3-year "investee" of the Social Venture Partner Network, which comes with human and financial capital beginning in 2018.